Hundreds of Nintendo fans went wild in New York City over the weekend as they tossed their 3D glasses in the air and welcomed a new 3D gaming system they can play – without glasses.
Andrew Goldfarb, a Nintendo 3DS buyer says, “I thought the 3D was awesome because I’ve never worn glasses so if I go to a movie theater and I’m seeing a movie, wearing those glasses is really distracting. In this, I got the same sense of depth, I still had that awesome 3D but I wasn’t distracted by anything. It was really cool.”
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Nintendo is hoping the 3DS will be red-hot with consumers and help rev up its flagging growth. In fact, the company says the 3DS will be a key revenue driver.
But Lance Ulanoff, Editor in Chief of PCMag.com, says Nintendo does face an uphill battle in certain market segments because the 3DS does not offer some of the same capability as other pocket sized devices.
Ulanoff says, “The struggle that Nintendo may have is for pocket space. Meaning that people will only carry so many things in their pockets. Now, hardcore gamers, people who are really into it, they may carry this. But then when you get to a certain level with kids, teens, certainly adults – I have to have a phone, I have to have texting, I have to have phone calls. Do I want to carry a phone and this device?”
In fact, Sony has said its next portable gaming device, the “NGP”, will also be a phone. Sony rolls that out at the end of this year.
Yet more evidence the race is escalating to tap a ballooning market for mobile gaming, which research firm Gartner expects to more than double to nearly $12 billion in the next three years.
Bottom line: Nintendo’s launch of its handheld 3DS gaming system, the first device to offer 3D gaming without special glasses, was met with a big crowd, but competition from smartphones could threaten future growth.